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6th Michigan Infantry
in the American Civil War

Regimental History
Sixth Michigan Infantry, Cols., Frederick W. Curtenius, Thomas S. Clark, Edward Bacon; Lieut. -Cols., Thomas S. Clark, Edward Bacon, Charles E. Clarke, John Carden; Majs., Edward Bacon, Charles E. Clarke, John Garden, Sylvester Cogswell, Seymour Howell, Harrison Soule. This regiment was organized at Kalamazoo and was mustered in Aug. 20, 1861. It left the state on Aug. 30 and was ordered into camp at Baltimore, remaining there most of the time until Feb. 22, 1862, except for an expedition into Virginia. It encamped at Newport News Feb. 23, and embarked March 4, on the steamer "Constitution" for Ship island, Miss. It remained there from March 13 to April 14 and then proceeded to New Orleans, being one of the first regiments to occupy that city after its capture. On May 9 it joined an expedition up the Mississippi river for the capture of a train, the destruction of railroad track and bridges, and was in an engagement at Grand Gulf. It reached Baton Rouge on the 29th, where it went into barracks, but shortly afterward the general commanding ordered the regiment out into the woods, without tents or shelter of any kind, to make room for another regiment which was well provided with tents, and even refused it the use of the tents. The officers of the regiment protested, then refused to obey the arbitrary ungracious order and were placed under arrest. The regiment was forced out and compelled to remain without protection, suffering much from the exposure, and the officers were sent to New Orleans for trial, but on learning the facts Gen. Butler promptly released them. On July 20 six companies made a raid, capturing some prisoners, a large number of horses and mules and a quantity of camp stores. The regiment received and repulsed the principal attack of the enemy at Baton Rouge on Aug. 5, saving the position, fully 6,000 of the enemy being opposed to 2,000 Union troops. For its gallantry in this action the regiment received special mention in official reports. It lost in this engagement 20 killed, 43 wounded and 6 missing. When it moved to New Orleans in December but 171 out of 755 were fit for duty by reason of the unhealthy location of the camp it had occupied near the city. On Jan. 14, 1863, it participated in an expedition to Bayou Teche as part of the 1st brigade, 3d division, 19th corps, and it also participated in an expedition to and an engagement at Ponchatoula, in March. It was engaged at the Amite and Tickfaw rivers in April and also in a raid up the Jackson railroad, destroying the enemy's camp at Tangipahoa, capturing 60 prisoners and burning $400,000 worth of factories used by the enemy. It was engaged in the siege of Port Hudson, participating in the three assaults, in May and June. On July 10 the regiment was converted into heavy artillery and was stationed at Port Hudson until March 11, 1864, when 247 reenlisted as veterans and were furloughed home. They returned on May 11, with many recruits, and were ordered to Morganza in June, thence to Vicksburg, and St. Charles, Ark., returning in a short time to Morganza. A detachment was in an engagement at Ashton in July and was present at the surrender of Fort Morgan, Ala., Aug. 23. Portions of the regiment were stationed respectively at Forts Gaines and Morgan until Dec. 23, when Cos. B, C, E, F and H were detached on an expedition against Mobile, rejoining the regiment the last of Jan., 1865. Cos. A and K were detached March 31, and took position before Spanish Fort, doing effective work with their 10-inch mortars. After the capture of the fort they turned the captured fine Brooks' rifles and 100-pound Parrotts on Forts Huger and Tracy and assisted in reducing all the works within range. On April 10, Co. B was placed on picket duty at Navy cove, Co. E was assigned to garrison Fort Powell, and Cos., A and K rejoined the regiment on the 20th. On July 9, the regiment was ordered to New Orleans, encamped near there on the 11th, and was mustered out Aug. 20. The total enrollment was 1,957, and the loss by death 542.

Footnotes:
Regimental history taken from "The Union Army" by Federal Publishing Company, 1908 - Volume 3

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